Monday, 20 October 2014

Our Autumn Nature Walk

As a family we are happiest when we are outdoors discovering new places. And it's Autumn that is probably our favourite season to get outdoors and take a walk. There's lots to look at with all of the leaves laying scattered over the floor, there are conkers to collect and a general feel of a prettiness to nature as the leaves change different colour.

We've been out collecting leaves, conkers, twigs and dead plants for our Autumn and Halloween themed fireplace display, which I will tell you more about soon as it's not quite finished yet. But I did take a few pictures of our walk (and obligatory stop and play in the park) which have a lovely Autumn feel to them.. 


 
 

 





Have you been on many autumn nature walks yet with your family?



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Guest Post | Tips For When You Are Expecting


Maternity Tips For When You Are Expecting

When you become pregnant, it can be great. The wonderful realisation that you will have a child to look after and nurture can be ever so exciting, but at the same time quite daunting. There are so many things to think about and prepare for, and sometimes it can be rather difficult. Being healthy is one of the main things that you need to consider while pregnant to make sure that your child has the best possible start in life is a must. This may involve a change of lifestyle and diet, which can be quite difficult for some; but just remember, it can be so worth it. From the very second that you make everyone aware that you are expecting, you will be overwhelmed with advice, but you need to do your own research and find out what really works.

Fashion tips if you are expecting

Your body will inevitably change during pregnancy, and as mentioned, this can be quite an unnerving phase. We all want to feel confident with the way that we look, and being pregnant does not have to mean that you can’t look your very best. There are so many different types of clothing that can not only help with the practical side of being pregnant but also help you to look fantastic. Even while pregnant and still working, you could have stylish corporate maternity wear. You know what suits you and what you are comfortable with, so have a look below at the different items that can help you look great:


Image by: Natsumi Umino

A-line Shirts and Dresses – this item of clothing will flow away from your stomach and will keep you comfortable. As your stomach gets bigger, the A-line shirt or dress gives plenty of room.

Bras – one of the first things that you will notice when pregnant is that your bra size will get bigger so you will have to buy new bras. Another thing to consider here is that many women suffer discomfort at night with regard to their breasts. You can buy sleeping bras to help with this.

Nursing tops – these can be a great way to help with being discreet with breastfeeding and can be worn before and after pregnancy. You will be able to find many shops that offer great breastfeeding tops sales.

Belly Band – this is a favourite for many pregnant women. It is a stretchy band that can overlap your trousers. It can also mean that you can still wear your favourite designer jeans without having to zip them up.

Maternity Swimwear – keeping fit and healthy while pregnant is so important. And swimming can help with this and also relieving stress. You will find that in all maternity clothes shops, they will offer a swimwear line.

Shop at your favourite stores – not all but many big brand names will have a maternity section in their shops; you don’t just have to shop at specialist maternity stores.

Stay Healthy

Looking good and feeling happy in yourself is important, but you need to make sure that you are as healthy as you can be. For some people, not that much will change. But for others, it will involve a complete transformation. The obvious things to avoid when you become pregnant is smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. This obviously can be difficult, but regardless it is something that is needed. You will even need to make sure that you are not exposing yourself to second hand smoke. Always try to make sure that you get a good night’s sleep. It is recommended to get at least 8 hours sleep. If this is not possible, try to take naps during the day. Drink lots of fluids. This is recommended anyway even if you are not pregnant. Try to drink at least 8 glasses a day and stay away from things like caffeine and any drinks with artificial colouring. Have a look below at some other things that you need to consider when pregnant:
  • Exercise – is so important to keep healthy and stress free.
  • Vitamins - speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician for advice on this.
  • Eat five to six balanced meals a day
  • Consult your doctor – don’t take over-the-counter medication without speaking to your doctor first.

If you follow these tips, you will not go far wrong. Always ask questions if you are unsure, and make sure that you are happy and stress free. Being pregnant for the first time can be scary. But it does not need to be. Talk to other women and ask about their experiences and advice. The most important thing is that, in nine months, you will have the most precious thing in the world to look after and love for the rest of your life.



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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review of Oddprints.com | Custom Photo Printing Service


I hadn't heard of Oddprints before Matt got in touch. His rather new business is custom photo printing, where you can order prints of your favourite photos in standard or 'odd' sizes for those frames that you buy or receive as gifts that have really odd frame sizes and can sometimes be frustrating to try and fill. 

The site offers an opportunity to custom size your prints to passport size photo prints, which is handy to know for me, as some of you know - I had a terrible experience trying to get Ethans passport photos done this year. There is a free service at Oddprints that lets you print out your own passport sized photos off of your own printer. But obviously if you don't have a photo printer then you can order them from the site for a small fee. I like the site a lot for this as it means you can get your own passport photos taken at home and then printed. (Obviously passport guidelines for the photographs will still need to be followed.)

Great points about oddprints.com
  • The delivery was extremely quick, I had my prints after 1 or 2 days. 
  • The quality of the prints is great - absolutely no issues.
  • I love that you can select different custom sizes to suit you and your frames. 
  • I think the site is one of the easiest I've ever used for photo printing and I really like that you can upload lots of pictures in one go and it will automatically switch to the next one after you've custom sized the first. 
  • I like that you can checkout with paypal. 
  • The packaging is great - again no issues.
Room for improvement?

Though, I think the site is brilliant, oddprints.com is a brand new site so I wanted to give a small bit of feedback that could potentially help Matt to make changes to his site in the future which could help to make the process of ordering prints a little easier for his customers. 
  • I'd like to see the price of the custom print size come up somewhere on the upload screen before adding it to the basket. I don't know if this is a standard thing for print services or not - but I do think it would be a good improvement, just so you know what cost you're looking at before the checkout process. 
  • A small thing and not a major thing at all, but it would be nice to see social media icons somewhere near the top of the homepage, so that it's easier to follow the company via twitter and Facebook.
  • On the checkout page it would be nice to see an option to change the sizes (should you wish to), you can change the quantity but not sizes and this option would just make it easier for customers who change their minds about sizing. 
Apart from that, I found the site very easy to use and I cannot fault the packaging, delivery time or quality of the final prints. I would be happy to use Oddprints again and to recommend it here on my blog. Site: http://www.oddprints.com


oddprints review, oddprints, custom photo printing
oddprints review, oddprints, custom photo printing
oddprints review, oddprints, custom photo printing




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Saturday, 18 October 2014

My Bad Beauty Habits and Me.



I have to admit, I'm not one of those people who have a morning or a bedtime skin ritual. There is no routine. Well, there is, I do rapidly through a wipe around my face before bed to remove what's left of my make-up from the day (if I've had any on, that is). But I just don't seem to have the time for all of the fancy cleansing and what not. And plus, it's too cold for all of that. When I go to bed, I want to go to bed, not spend half an hour cleaning and revitalising my face and body.

There is one thing though, that I do do religiously.. I shave.. everyday. I take my shower every morning and I shave. I know it's probably a bad habit to do it everyday, it just makes the hair grow back faster, I know this. But it's exactly that, a habit.

One that I can't seem to break. (I used to be as bad with washing my hair daily! - whoops!)

One thing that I'd never considered though, well up until recently was laser hair removal. I'd always assumed that with lasers involved there would be too many risks involved but I've read that it's safe and virtually painless and works by focusing a laser beam at the base of the hair follicle, halting hair growth. I like the idea of 'virtually painless' as I'd always assumed that it'd be rather painful.. so perhaps one day I'll give it a go - perhaps it would help free up the time that I spend shaving everyday! 

Another thing I am not so good at is eye make up -  I've never learnt to blend. I taught myself my own make up and I had to overcome many stages of what was utterly embarrassing Alex created 'looks', which only occurred due to my deep lack of knowledge in the beauty department. To name a specific look I'd go for the cringe-worthy orange face/white body look... yeah - not my best look..! Ah well, it may have taken a good few years but at least I now know that I'm FAIR skinned and definitely not as tanned as I would like to be and that buying the darkest foundation on the shelf does NOT mean that I can achieve this... it just serves to make me somewhat of a laughing stock!.. 

And then there was the self tanning stage.. oh god, what a stage that was! I'd walk around everyday with bright orange palms - why I thought it would be a great idea to skip on the gloves I will never know...

Oh and then there was that time I shaved my eyebrows off.. completely! Yeah, I was about 14 when I did that, my sister-in-law 10 years younger than me did it a few years later to copy me.. she was due to model for a big company but she couldn't do it once she'd got rid of her eyebrows.. That was a very big epic fail moment for both of us..!

So yes  - I have had many a bad beauty habit in my time and I am sure that there is many more to come. It's in my nature I guess. But at least I can always look back and have a good old laugh at them, right? ;)



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Friday, 17 October 2014

Autumn Inspiration: Womens Sleepwear


It's that time of year when I swap out the much shorter, somewhat skimpier nighties for the thick, cozy, warm nightwear - and I love this time of year, if not just for that reason. ;)

I think I could quite happily live in nightwear, When I'm not wearing a jumper cardigan - I am all about the slippers, onesies, dressings downs and the thickest, softest pyjamas that money can buy! I'm the girl who likes to be comfortable, warm and snuggled up by the fire with a nice hot cup of tea, and well -  Autumn is just the perfect time of year to do just that, right?!

My Husband would tell you that I don't need anymore sleepwear and with an overflowing shelf of snuggly pyjamas etc - I see his point, I really do. But the thing is, is that it is ridiculously hard not to purchase more.. how can you leave the most cutest, most softest bit of sleepwear you've ever seen in the shop?! That's like giving away your old teddy bears. You simply can't. 

Right now I am going through what I have on my shelf and deciding what, if any new bits I will need this year. And so because there is bound to be things that I'm going to need new.. ;) - I've made myself a collage of my some of my favourite sort of styles for sleepwear. ^

What do you think to my choices? Could you quite happily live in sleepwear like me? 



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Home Improvement Tips that will Instantly Beautify your Home


It has always been said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and this is especially true when it comes to how you visualise your home and its style and décor. Your home should reflect the personality of its residents by having an appropriate interior design pattern. Making your home reflect the characteristics of the people living there and ensuring that it looks visually appealing does not have to cause serious damage to your bank balance.

The following home improvement tips will instantly beautify your home giving it a sense of revitalisation and newness. 

Choose a Theme

Re-decorating your home is one sure way of getting rid of the old and introducing the new. If you’ve decided to re-decorate, you should consider choosing a recurring theme to run through the style and décor of your home. A noticeable theme makes a very strong statement about you and your personality. You can choose to go with a single theme for your entire home or just keep it to one single room or area of the house. If you do opt to incorporate different themes, ensure that they blend well and work together to create a space that you truly love and will be able to happily look at. 

Upgrade your Doors and Windows

Doors and windows make such a huge difference to the visual aspect of a house. If they are old and tired looking, they can transform an otherwise beautiful home into one that is lacking in substance and style. There are a huge variety of door types to choose from, each of which has varying price points. When it comes to choosing windows, Vevo Windows are a firm favourite with many people as they offer windows that allow for the maximum amount of natural light while also looking aesthetically pleasing too. When upgrading your doors and windows, ensure to keep your theme in mind and consider whether your new pieces will fit in with the style of the rest of your home. 

Add Some Extra Storage

Not all homes are blessed with endless amounts of storage space and having a home that’s overly cluttered looking can make it look uncared for and messy. Adding some extra storage space in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room can instantly make your home appear more tidy, spacious and appealing to the eye. Simple things like adding a magnetic panel to the wall in your kitchen will allow you to store all of your cooking utensils in a practical and convenient way. As well as adding some extra storage throughout your home, it’s also important that you better use the storage space that you already have by ensuring that it’s utilised as efficiently as possible. 

Most people shudder at the thought of under-taking a home improvement project. This shouldn’t be the case as it’s a chance for you to get your creative juices flowing and muster up ways of how you can improve the overall look and practicality of your home. Although they’re fairly obvious, the three home improvement tips that I’ve mentioned above will help you to beautify your home in an instant making you love it even more.




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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Getting E to drink milk with the Baby Bullet


A while ago we were sent a Baby Bullet to test out - to be honest I pretty much loved it as soon as I heard it about. I'm a big Nutribullet fan and I absolutely loved the idea of a mini version for babies where you can make an entire week's worth of healthy, nutritional baby food in less than 5 minutes. I also loved the fact that it seemed to include everything you'd need to make your weaning baby's food and then store it efficiently. (See below for what's included in the box). This is what the Baby Bullet looks like.. (a much cuter mini version of the Nutribullet really!) 

Baby bullet review, nutri bullet
RRP. £59.99

So what's in the box? 
  •  1 High-torque power base
  • 2 Stainless steel bales
  • 1 Batch bowl
  • 2 Short cups
  • 2 Stay-fresh resealable lids
  • 2 Batch trays
  • 2 Batch tray lids
  • 6 Date-dial strorage cups
  • 1 Storage tray
  • 1 Spatula
  •  User manual
  •  Recipe book
  • Pocket nutritionist

nutri bullet, baby bullet,
The Baby Bullet would have been beyond perfect for when I first began weaning Ethan, it literally contains everything you need (apart from the food -  obviously). ;) And just like the Nutri Bullet it is SO easy to use and again as easy to clean. There's no special instructions needed or stupid amounts of cleaning, it's a 5 second job. (If that!).

One of my favourite things to make with it is one of the most simple.. Ethan decided a few months ago that he was no longer going to drink formula milk nor cows milks and this obviously left me worried about whether or not he was getting the amount of dairy in his diet that he needed. I over-worry about E's diet anyway, so this didn't help! So with my Baby Bullet to hand I decided to combine his favourite food (banana) with the amount of milk I'd usually try and give him. I break the banana up in my hands as I would if I was giving it to him to eat and then place it in the Baby Bullet with the milk, switch it on for around 15-20 seconds and by then it's mushed all the banana in with the milk. 

I then pour it in to the Baby Bullet cup, add a straw and it works like a treat! ;) He loves it and will drink it every time and it means I don't have to worry about any lack of dairy! :) You could probably do the same with strawberries or any other fruit. As with all food/drink I give this to him in moderation. 

babybullet, baby bullet review, nutri bullet




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